Law360 Union Members Secure Progressive, Strong First Contract
For Immediate Release | December 18, 2018
Contact | Josh Austin | 484.269.0158 | firstname.lastname@example.org
New York--After nearly two years at the negotiating table, Law360 editorial staffers tentatively agreed to an remarkable first contract that fiercely protects and improves the working conditions of Guild-covered members at the LexisNexis-owned legal news site.
The four-year contract provides for a significant wage increase -- an average immediate 22% boost in total salaries -- including retroactivity to January 1, 2018, and a salary “floor of decency” of 50k. In addition to new wage minimums across the editorial department, Guild members will receive a 2% ratification bonus.
Beginning in 2019, each employee will be eligible for an annual bonus from a pool equal to at least 3% of total payroll for Guild-covered employees. In addition, beginning in 2020, editorial employees will receive both a guaranteed increase of at least 2% each year, as well as the opportunity for a merit raise from a pool equal to at least 2% of total payroll, for the life of the contract. Law360 employees will also be guaranteed a set of separate sick days for the first time in the company’s history.
“This contract delivers important changes that Law360's journalists demanded, including significantly higher wages, better job security, separate sick days and improved retirement benefits,” said Law360 Unit Chair Juan Carlos Rodriguez. “When we unionized more than two years ago, we gained a strong collective voice in the newsroom. We spoke up and pushed hard for a fair contract that would reflect the time, effort and expertise we put into our high-quality work, and we're proud of what we've achieved with this agreement.”
Guild members at Law360 have been adamant about protecting the editorial integrity of the newsroom and employees since their organizing days. Members negotiated language in this first contract that prevents the company from re-instituting non-compete agreements, which had prohibited employees from working for “competitors” for a year after leaving the company. Management’s aggressive enforcement of the non-compete against a veteran reporter who left for another company galvanized the newsroom to organize with the NewsGuild. Law360 staffers also fought for, and secured, the rollback of onerous daily story quotas widely regarded as harmful to journalistic integrity and employee morale.
In a rare achievement Law360 Guild members were able to secure successorship language, which ensures that the collective bargaining agreement is assumed by any new owner of the company. At a time of uncertainty and upheaval in the media sector, Law360 members recognized, and fought for, this key provision to protect the union if LexisNexis were to sell the news service.
“Our members have fought and worked tirelessly to achieve an agreement that reflects their hard work and the value they bring to Law360,” said NewsGuild of New York President Grant Glickson. “We couldn’t be prouder of their hard work and determination in setting the bar with the strength of this unprecedented first contract.”
The contract is currently pending ratification vote by Guild members at Law360, which is scheduled to be completed December 18, 2018.
About the NewsGuild of New York
The NewsGuild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 3,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.
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